Prof. Gail Whiteman

Gail Whiteman
Professor of Sustainability, Management and Climate Change
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)
Erasmus University Rotterdam


Gail Whiteman is a professor of business society management and holds the Sustainability and Climate Change chair at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM)

Professor Whiteman was a 2011 Global Finalist in the Aspen Institute’s high-profile ranking of Faculty Pioneers in sustainability. Her research aims to help organisations deal more effectively with sustainability challenges, an objective she established during her former career in the private sector.

Professor-Whiteman combines her role at RSM with that of part time Professor in-Residence at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

She is co-founder and Director of ERIM's Centre for Corporate Eco-Transformation , where she collaborates with multinational companies, to examine issues such as the strategic role of companies in their transition towards low carbon, sustainable cities; the impact of natural resource extraction on local sustainability; and the drivers of sustainable innovation.

Her work has been published in the top business and ecology journals including the Academy of Management Journal and Nature and she has over thirty-five academic peer-reviewed academic publications on sustainability. She sits on the editorial boards of several academic journals.

Her academic network spans many disciplines including the natural sciences. She is an associate member of the Resilience Alliance , a world-class, multidisciplinary research organisation comprised of scientists and practitioners that explore the dynamics and resilience of social-ecological systems.

She is also active in innovative business sustainability training and education and was the organiser of a high-profile event in 2011 – the Engaged Business Leaders’ Forum – in which H.R.H. Princess Irene of the Netherlands and H.R.H. Prince Carlos de Bourbon de Parme participated. Media coverage included articles in the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, Yahoo Finance, Greenbiz, the BBC, the Financial Times, and local Dutch press.

In held her inaugural address as professor in 2011 “Making sense of climate change: How to avoid the next big flood? Management lessons for the 21st century ". She argued for a fresh approach to management research, with greater attention paid to tipping points in key planetary boundary processes such as the urgence of the scale of change happening in the Arctic.

Following a 2010 trip to the Arctic Archipelago she is now involved in an initiative to establish networks between polar scientists and global leaders and is leading a project to evaluate the economic costs of lost climate services from a melting Arctic.

Professional experience

Full Professor

Erasmus University Rotterdam
Rotterdam School of Management
Department of Business-Society Management